Like most IT Professionals, I use a whole array of keyboard shortcuts to speed up my working throughout the day. In this two-part series, I’ll share some of the more useful ones with you.

In this post – Part 1 – I’ll cover shortcuts I use when generally working with, and troubleshooting, Windows. In Part 2, I’ll cover shortcuts for Working with Files and Text.

Part 1 – Working with Windows

Control + Shift + Escape
Instantly brings up Task Manager. Always handy for troubleshooting, and especially useful in a Domain environment, where the traditional Ctrl+Alt+Del brings up a Windows Security panel.

WinKey + D
Shows the Desktop, minimising all windows. Press it again, and all your windows are restored. This shortcut is superior to WinKey+M, as it retains all window positions.

WinKey + L
Locks your workstation. Incredibly useful if you work in IT, and frequently need to leave your PC at a moment’s notice.

Alt + Tab
Switches between open windows. To scroll “backwards” use Alt + Shift + Tab. Sometimes quicker than using the taskbar, sometimes not 😉

WinKey + Break (sometimes labeled Pause)
Opens up Systems Properties quickly.

WinKey + R
Opens up the Run command, ready for your bidding 😉

Alt + F4
Close the current window. Also, Ctrl + F4 closes the current tab in Firefox and IE7, and many other applications which feature Tabbed navigation.

Control + Tab
Switches tabs in Mozilla Firefox / Internet Explorer 7 (and a lot of other programmes that use Tabs). To go backwards, use Control + Shift + Tab.

Note: WinKey is short for Windows Key. It’s the key with the Windows symbol on it, usually between the Ctrl button and the Space Bar 🙂

Have I missed any useful ones? What shortcuts do you use? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Written by Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.


Phil Wiffen

Haha. After I posted this, I walked away and locked the workstation (With WinKey+L) – Realised I hadn’t included it, came back and added it, only to realise just now that you’d beat me to it 🙂

WinKey + F is another glaring one I missed! Cheers Andy 🙂

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